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01 Preface Background In 2013, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design cooperates with Research In Motion provides a cross-disciplinary project with Royal College of Art MA students. Therefore, students from Information Experience Design, Service Design and Visual Communication are involved in this collaborative project, and work with different local communities in London. The scope of this project is based in London, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. This project aims to explore cultural differences through the collaborations between students and communities, and the company. Participants Royal College of Art Service Design Information Experience Design Visual Communication Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design RIM (Research in Motion) Blackberry

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02 Introduction How can digital technology address different cultural activities, aspirations and attitudes?

Design team (Irene) Yen-Hsuan Shih - Service Design yen-hsuan.shih@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7925 842909 (Matt) Myoung-hwan Han - Service Design myoung-hwan.han@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7447 242274

Partner Community: Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society

Hanna Lee- Information Experience Design hanna.lee@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7557 261002

Blackberry and Helen Hamlyn Centre have collaborated for years. As one of the most influential technology companies, Blackberry has been interested in interaction between people and technology. That is the reason why the brief says: “How can digital technology address different cultural activities, aspirations and attitudes?�

Abbie Vickress - Visual Communication abbie.vickress@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7891 588154 Natasha Trotman - Information Experience Design natasha.trotman@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7925 999748

There are five design teams that participate in this project and each of them works with different local communities. Our partner community is Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society, a Hindu temple located in Brixton.

Alice Czarnowska - Information Experience Design alice.czarnowska@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7867 253765

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Project Manager (Irene) Yen-Hsuan Shih Service Design

Polymath

UX and Product Designer

Visual Identity Designer

(Matt) Myoung-hwan Han Service Design

Hanna Lee Information Experience Design

Communicator

Natasha Trotman Information Experience Design

Abbie Vickress Visual Communication

Scholar Alice Czarnowska Information Experience Design

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03 Special Thanks We sincerely appreciate the help and support from our friends. During the past two months, this project directed us to explore a beautiful culture and definitely did broaden our horizon. Thank you very much, all the members from Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society, Indian students and tutors from Royal College of Art and imperial College London.

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The Elderly

The Youth

Vidur Dindayal

Roshni Richardson

Shruti Grover

Sabita Dindayal

Hetan Ajwani

Ritika Karnani

Kumarie Gheerawo

Nikhita Shivani Gupta

Upasana Divakar

Helen Aidatsarran

Srinivas Sivasubramanian

Sanya Rai Gupta

Ganesh Lall

Sunita Lochan

Swati Venkat

Nadir Khan

Vishal Lochan

Motie Sukhlal

Kareen Williams

Steve Niohammed

Sireita Mullings

Harold Narain

Akhila Krishnan

Rose

Roshan Sirohia


It’s all of you that helped us to accomplish this project. Thank you very much.

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04 Discovery 01. Research Plan

Our research plan for this project was based on the double diamond model. To begin with, we started this project from desk research about Caribbean Hindu Cultural. It includes two parts; Hinduism and Indo-Caribbean heritage. We suggested that we might have a better icebreaking conversation with our interviewees if we prepare enough background knowledge about the culture. That is the beginning of our research. After that, we looked into our partner community, interviewing the members and participating their events. Therefore, we have got profound research about Caribbean Hindu culture from both primary and secondary research. The mission for the discovery phase is to understand the expectation from our partner community, the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society.

The mission for the discovery phase is to understand the expectation from our partner community, the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society.

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02. The Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society Introduction The CHCS has been the first Hinduism and Hindu culture organisation in South London since it is established in 1959. The objectives of the CHCS is to promote Hinduism and to achieve the advancement of education particularly in Hindu traditions and philosophy, history, language, literature, art and music. Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society 0208 674 0755 om@chcstemple.org.uk 16 Ostade Road, Brixton Hill London, SW2 2BB

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History and Background The Caribbean is a region that includes of the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and the surrounding coasts. Many of the CHCS members are originally from Guyana, the country in north of South America. Their Indian ancestors came to Caribbean on 5 May, 1838. After years, their ancestors or family moved to London and established the Caribbean Hindu Cultural society in 1959. Reference: Indian Arrival Day - 164th Anniversary “Those Indian Hands Fed Us All� (Apendix A)

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Members and Events According to the interview with the CHCS members, they are from a mixed-culture environment. Their culture originates from Indian, and then become influenced by Caribbean and London. There are about 200 members in the community, and most of them are pensioners. Basically, they speak English as the common language and the main purpose they join the CHCS is to socialize. They have regular classes and religious events. For example, we frequently joined the Senior Citizens Club on Wednesdays and the Hindustani Vocal Classes on Saturdays during this project. Also, they have weekly religious event such as Havan on Sundays. The funding to main the CHCS is from the Big Lottery Fund and members’ donation. Take the Senior Citizens Club for instance, about 30 of the members donated £10 per month to maintain the events. Also, they sold tickets for special events. Furthermore, they are organising two events for getting more young people involved in their community: The Essay Competition and the Youth Concert.

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03. Cultural Probes In order to get insights from the CHCS membersm, we came up with a series of cultural probes. It included a questionnaire, a diary about different topics like society, generations, and locations. They go with an envelope with mail address and stamps. Also, we also provided image cards, a map of Caribbean with stickers, a mock-up of a smart phone, colourful labels about functions and imaginations for an ideal device. Besides, we personalized this toolkit to fit different interviewees like the elderly, the educator and the young in the following research phases. (Appendix B.)

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04. In-depth Interview Firstly, we carried out the in-depth interviews with Vidur Dindayal and Sabita Dindayal, and then interviewed Kumarie Gheerawo. Vidur is the rep from the CHCS and he was an architect. Kumarie is an educator who has been teaching for 50 years. By interviewing these three people we did get a lot of insights and then understand the leading direction of this project. The core finding from this interview is their intuition to get young people involved in their community. Also, it’s important to understand their attitudes toward their origin, culture, religion, technology, and the next generation. Based on the interview, we decided to regard harmony as the theme of this project after being inspired by Vidur and Kumarie. How to pass down the traditional value of Hindu culture, from the elderly to the next generation is the main insight we got at this moment.

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The interview with CHCS members

The interview with Educator

04/02/2013 Vidur Dindaya and Sabita Dindayal 020 8769 2671 dindayal@sky.com No 73A Woodbourne Avenue. Streatham SW16

12/02/2013 Kumarie Gheerawo 07961 175 598 kumariegheerawo@hotmail.co.uk 90 Hill Rise, Greenford, Middlesex UB6 8PE


Belief

Technology

“The core belief of Hinduism is ‘Harmony’ because we think a same way. We do not look alike. We do not think alike. How we are going to live and get through life if we would be constantly fighting?” - Vidur

“Technology, like computers do change the way we educate children......with both positive and negative impact. For me, the purpose of education is help children to find out the purpose of their birth and to fulfill their life purpose.” - Kumarie

Origins “Wherever you are, bring up your children to know that your...ancestors were very important people, were royalty and very important people.“ - Vidur

The Next Generation “I think we are not doing enough to encourage young people to be involved. It is our fault not them.” - Vidur

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Visit to Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society 13/02/2013 27/02/2013 02/03/2013 13/03/2013 01/05/2013 om@chcstemple.org.uk 0208 674 0755 16 Ostade Road, Brixton Hill London, SW2 2BB

05. The Visit to Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society After the in-depth interviews, we visited the CHCS to participate the weekly activities, such as the Senior Citizens Club. There were about 30 people participating this event, and only 10 of them are female members. We met and talked with them, hearing from their opinions, sharing the ideas about the brief and technology. One of the key findings is their attitude toward technology is conservative but they would be willing to use technology to keep in touch with beloved family and friends. Also, the atmosphere of this community is very friend and open-minded to different culture. However, they were hoping to have more young people with them. That is the most important thing at all.

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06. Summary After going through the discovery phase, we understood the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society members’ expectation for this project is to get more young people involved in our community. According to this understanding, we took further actions to achieve this goal.

The expectation from the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society is to engage more young people in their community.

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05 Definition 01. Research Plan

Following up the expectation from the CHCS members, mainly the elderly, we needed to think that how we could get young people involved in their community. Therefore, we had to understand young people’s attitudes and opinions. Therefore, we turned to research the young generation in the definition phase.

The mission for the definition phase is to explore the thoughts and attitude from the young generation with Hindu or Indian background.

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02. Target Group Since it was a London based project and it focused on Hindu culture, we broadly defined our target group as people with Hindu or Indian background, aged from 18-year-old to 35-year-old. At this stage, we’d like to hear from their voice, so that we prepared both paper and online questionnaires for young Indians with Hindu background.

03. Online Survey We sent out the online survey as the starting point to contact young Indian students around Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. By doing that, we’ve got many feedbacks and then this action also helped us to take in-depth interviews with these people.

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Belief “Fortunately my family is not orthodox so there are varying levels of faith. For myself, I am ambivalent; I enjoy the mythology and art and history and also practice religion in my own loosely defined way, but would not consider myself devout. I guess it’s a case of ‘take what you like and leave the rest.” Swati Venkat - History of Design 1yr (swati.venkat@network.rca.ac.uk)

Family “Religion is something that is more of a family culture thing rather than a self initiated thing in our generation. ! Most festivals are deeply rooted on religion and the whole family celebrates them together. Personally I try not to eat meat on Tuesdays as my grandparents feel it’s a holy day. Religion is a good point of communication for kids and grandparents (storytelling on festivals)” Sanya Rai Gupta - IDE 1yr (sanya-rai.gupta@network.rca.ac.uk)

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04. In-depth Interviews Next, we carried out in-depth interviews with 9 young people with Hindu or India background. At this stage, we gather insights from conversations and then reflect upon on the CHCS members’ expectation. At first, we focused on what’s the meaning of Hinduism for young people? Therefore, we asked questions such as, if you are a Hindu, how deep the religion is connected with your life? Could you give us an example? Furthermore, we were trying to compare the different attitudes and thoughts between the elder CHCS members, and the young Indian people. For the young generation, the meaning of Hinduism has already got changed.

List of interviewees Harish Kodi (Alice’s Indian friend) Savio Mendonca (Alice’s Indian friend)

Roshan Sirohia - RCA IDE 2yr roshan.sirohia@network.rca.ac.uk

Upasana Divakar - RCA Textile 1yr upasana.divakar@network.rca.ac.uk

Sunita – CHCS member Sunita06@hotmail.co.uk

Shruti Grover - RCA IDE 2yr shruti.grover@network.rca.ac.uk

Akhila Krishnan - RCA Graduate (Artist) akhila.krishnan@network.rca.ac.uk

Srinivas Sivasubramanian – Imperial MBA srinivasa.sivasubramanian12@imperial.ac.uk

Ritika Karnani - RCA Design Products 2yr ritika.karnani@network.rca.ac.uk

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Life “Hinduism for me is ...... a way of life. You guys should look into a really day of life, including of young people and the elderly.” - Shruti

Socializing “Foe me, I don’t really celebrate these festivals...... But it’s a way people connect to each other, sometimes especially for oversea people. This bond becomes stronger. Look into Indian people in London. Location is important. Go to some restaurants and grocery shops. That’s where we meet up and socialize. Food is a good starting point.” – Akhila

Home “I go to temples when I feel homesick because it’s what my mother did all the time when I was in India. It makes me feel like home.” - Ritika

Technology “Only face-to-face events can bring people together, not technology.” – Shruti

Religion

Community

“Everything goes with reasons in Hinduism, but many people misunderstand the meaning nowadays… The purpose of many festivals is to socialize, to meet people. For example, Diwali is for family reunion, and Holi is for friends.” - Upasana

“I hope there would be more young people… but the reason is they are too busy. My mother used to be here so that’s the reason why I join CHCS. ” - Sunita

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05. Campus Campaign After taking online survey and interviews with the young generation, we would like to have an experiential design prototype to try and see if we could communicate our appeal, to promote Hindu culture with our target group. Hence, we applied social media, setting up a twitter called Hindu Stories, and then posted posters around colleges. We would like to enhance people’s perception of Hindu culture and tried to find the best way to connect the CHCS members and the young generation.

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05. Summary According to the research for the young generation, we understood that the meaning of Hinduism had become modern and even a family culture. Hinduism represented their home, origins, even a way of life, more beyond the religious meaning. Take the most important Hindu festival, Diwali for example, BBC Religions said: “The Times of India summed up the modern meaning of Diwali: Regardless of the mythological explanation one prefers, what the festival of lights really stands for today is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple - and some not so simple - joys of life.” Therefore, we focus on the “cultural religion”, including of the elements like music, food, festivals and ceremonies, not the traditional meaning of Hinduism after the definition phase.

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07. Problem Statement After the first 4-week research, for the design team, the relation between the CHCS members and the young people is like clients and customer, so we had to define the problem, and then develop a way to make new communications happen. Eventually, we came up with our first problem statement: How to create new communication between the elderly, the youth, and other ethnic communities through exploring the beauty of Hindu culture?

How to create new communication between the elderly, the youth, and other ethnic communities through exploring the beauty of Hindu culture?

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06 Development 01. Mapping the Generations

After the discovery and definition phase, we did the insight gathering and brain storming, in order to unpack the elements and tried to find something that has the capability to unite the generations, for example the same interest. Therefore, we went out to different Hindu temples and Indian restaurants, where Indian people would like get together. By spending time with both generations, we concluded that music was at the heart of this community.

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The mission for the development phase is to refine the problem statement, and then develop the design concept with CHCS. 33


Govinda’s Radha Krishna Temple 24/02/2013 http://www.iskcon-london.org/ 10 soho Street London, Greater London W1D 3DL

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ICHS Presents Holi 2013

Sanskriti Charity Dinner

13/03/2013 Princes Gardens Imperial College Hindu Society

15/03/2013 Junior Common Room Imperial College Hindu Society

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Co-creation workshop with the Dindaya family 11/03/2013 Vidur Dindaya (78) – Grandfather (Participant) Sabita Dindayal (76) – Grandmother (Participant) Roshni Richardson (51) – Mother (Participant) Sean Richardson (16) Jody Richardson (15)

02. Co-creation Workshop We tried to bridge the possibilities between different generations as we regarded that music played an important role to unite the community. We observed that everyone did enjoy music, from the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society, to college students in London. That’s our entry point for this phase. We would like to hear from Vidur’s family members and CHCS members if music exactly could bring people together from generations. We found that music is the common interest across the various age groups in the community. Roshni still plays piano with her teenagers. Also, when we showed Vidur Youtube music on the Blackberry playbook, he was amazed by this, but he felt the device is too complicated for the elderly to use. Therefore, highlighting a need, the starting point in regards to why we are thinking of designing a new device for the elderly.

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Common Interests “I think music brings people together. My father, me, Jody and Sean…… we are all enjoying music. From traditional Indian instruments to piano and even guitar.” - Roshni

Technology Matters “Who would you ask for help when your computer has problems?” “I pray for god. There is no reliable way to get help. I bought Dell computer in 2006, but I don’t know how to get the software (Microsoft Windows Office)…… They just take it for granted even though we don’t understand how it works at all.” - Vidur

Access “What we need is the access to the things to your hobbies.” - Roshni

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The Refined Problem Statement This co-creation workshop leaded to the definition of our refined problem statement: “How might we create new communication between the elderly and young people via the exploration of Hindu music?�

How might we create new communication between the elderly and the youth through exploring Hindu music? 38


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03. Exploring Local Communities After refining the problem statement and building up the initial design concept, we went back to Streatham, where the CHCS is located in Brixton, doing research about the surrounding areas by the Caribbean Hindu Culture Society. For example, Streatham is split by the A23, a very busy main road. And there are beautiful parks along the road, the Lambeth Rush Common Parks, which are maintained by Lambeth Council and there sometimes are outdoor activities in this park during summer. Here could be a good location for CHCS events. Also, we visited local communities and organisations. For example, 198 contemporary Arts and learning provides art courses in Youth Lambeth and they also focus on multicultural art exhibitions. We met Kareen, head of creative learning, to talk about cooperative opportunities.

04. Summary We were about to deliver our service at this moment, the end of development phase. After the 6-week research, we were considering how to propose a service design plan to the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Community, also to the potential partner community in Brixton. It would includes business parts and design parts, considering how design would be helpful for the CHCS to get funding and run the service design model sustainably.

198 Contemporary Arts & Learning 14/03/2013 http://www.198.org.uk/ 198 Railton Road, London SE24 OJT 020 7978 8309 Kareen Williams (Head of Creative Learning) Sireita Mullings (Staff, Brixton resident)

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Lambeth College 56 Brixton Hill, SW2 1QS

Rush Common Parks Brixton Hill, SW2


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07 Delivery 01. Service Proposition

We developed a campaign named “Show and Tell Companion”. It included of a digital device customized for the CHCS members, a digital platform for young people, with an online competition “Show and Tell: A Taste of India in 60 Seconds” to share clips or music works. Eventually, there would be a pop-up cinema that brings different generations together in the Rush Common Parks near by the CHCS, to show all the works and tell your ideas with participants’ family and friends. After this competition, we would held an exhibition for the “Show and Tell Companion” in the 198 contemporary Arts and learning in Brixton, and this event would be possible to create cooperative opportunities with the Youth Lambeth in regard of learning courses about Hindu music and heritage. Hence, this service provided our partner community and their target group a platform that makes new communications continually happen.

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02. Stakeholder Map & Service Blueprint We developed this stakeholder map according to field research. We have researched and contacted all the stated organisations, such as 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning and the Imperial Hindu Society. Also, we developed the service blueprint in order to deliver our service proposition. Through six phases, from promotion, participation, competition, activities, maintenance, and development, our service aims to unite two different generations together through co-creating Hindu music.

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03. Visual Identity Our visual identity was based on research. First, it kept the idea of harmony, which we learnt from Vidur, and try to create a balance between people, technology, and cultural. That’s the reason why we choose triangle as the visual identity. Second, This competition aims to inspire to show and tell their stories about Indian culture, so we combine the textile into the colours. Moreover, our team members have been to Holi, the festival of colours. This inspires us to come up with vibrant and energetic colours, to keep the taste of India.

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# 6D2B85

PEOPLE

# EC6568

# 9EC64B

TECHNOLOGY

# D1388C

# 5AC3F0

THE HOLI FESTIVAL, IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF LONDON

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CULTURE


04. Digital Platform We develop the website. This is just the starting point for all the activities and events. We hope to provide a platform where the youth and the elderly can enjoy, share, even co-create music. First, click the button; you can listen to the CHCS Hindu songs. Also, users could use the sounds of instruments to compose your new songs, or upload their own clip about Indian culture. This digital platform is accessible for young people, but it challenges the elderly. Hence, we developed a customized device for the CHCS members and we would explain it in detail later.

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1. The front page of “Show and tell Companion”. Users can listen to the CHCS Hindu songs by clicking the button.

2. All songs are composed by different instruments, and users could listen to a single sound of instruments.

3. Users could play with the sounds of instrument and compose your own new Hindu songs.

4. Also, this website “Show and tell Companion” enable users to upload clips and videos.

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05. Competition The core concept of “Show and Tell Companion” aims to encourage young people to tell and show us what Indian heritage means to you by uploading your 60 second clips, hoping to challenge it’s audience by starting a new multigenerational conversation about Indian Heritage.

Show and tell us what Hinduism means to you by sending us your 60 second clips.

This new conversation/"Fusion" will be documented and submitted digitally by anyone wanting to share there views or experiences about Indian heritage and entries will be shown at the CHCS pop up cinema. Show and Tell aims to inspire and build bridges of understanding between the varying 'voices' within the community, creating feelings of solidarity and ownership by giving every 'voice' a platform and encouraging all to work towards a common goal.

Show and Tell aims to challenge it’s audience by starting a new multigenerational conversation about Hinduism and Indian Heritage.

Show and tell can also be viewed remotely via a live stream demonstrating that the 'Mela' celebratory essence transcends boundaries and can be experienced by all irrespective of location or religious beliefs.

This new conversation/”Fusion” will be documented and submitted digitally by anyone wanting to share their views or experiences about Indian heritage and entries will be shown at the CHCS pop up cinema. Show and Tell aims to inspire and build bridges of understanding between the varying ‘voices’ within the community, creating feelings of solidarity and ownership by giving every ‘voice’ a platform and encouraging all to work towards a common goal.

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“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Tumblr for show & tell” http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

CHCS ? Established in May 1959, the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society was the first Hindu Organisation in South London for the promotion of Hinduism and Hindu Culture.

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

Show and tell can also be viewed remotely via a live stream demonstrating that the ‘Mela’ celebratory essence transcends boundaries and can be experienced by all irrespective of location or religious beliefs.

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Tumblr for show & tell” http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

Show and tell can also be viewed remotely via a live stream demonstrating that the ‘Mela’ celebratory essence transcends boundaries and can be experienced by all irrespective of location or religious beliefs.

A TASTE OF INDIA IN 60 SECONDS Show and tell us what Indian heritage means to you by uploading your 60 second clips. Show and Tell aims to challenge it's audience by starting a newmultigenerational conversation about Indian Heritage.

“Show & Tell your taste of India” kaleidoscope.designteam@gmail.com http://showandtell60.tumblr.com

This new conversation/”Fusion” will be documented and submitted digitally by anyone wanting to share there views or experiences about Indian heritage and entries will be shown at the CHCS pop up cinema. Show and Tell aims to inspire and build bridges of understanding between the varying ‘voices’ within the community, creating feelings of solidarity and ownership by giving every ‘voice’ a platform and encouraging all to work towards a common goal.


06. Digital Device We mentioned about the reason why we design a simple device for CHCS members to share within the community. Therefore, we came up with a simple device that would be user friendly for the elderly. The demystifying device only has basic function: recording, playing, and sharing.

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07. Activities Through this digital platform, and cooperation with local communities or Hindu societies, such as Imperial College Hindu Society. We are going to enjoy the pop-up cinema in the Rush Common Parks and the exhibition in the local gallery, the 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning. It would be a prospective opportunity to enhance the visibility of the Caribbean Hindu Cultural Society.

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08. Development After the presentation with all CHCS members in May, we got very good feedback from these members and they were considering to make this service design project into a proposal. Now the CHCS Education Committee is taking action to develop our project to their education programme. Further more, in order to get funding from local organisations, such as the Brixton Pound and Big Lottery Fund, this project is highly possible to be developed to a business proposal.

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08 Appendix

A. Indian Arrival Day - 164th Anniversary “Those Indian Hands Fed Us All”

Source: Caribbean New Yorker, Friday, May 3, 2002 Author: Dr. Ramesh Gampat May 5, 1838. To Guyanese, especially those of Indian ancestry, this is a sa- cred day and date. It was on this fateful day, perhaps around 2 –3 PM, that the Whitby, after a sea voyage of 112 days, docked into the colony of Berbice with its precious cargo of 249 immigrants, bound for the sugar plantations of British Guiana. Having landed 164 Indians at the estates of Davidson, Barclay and Company in Highbury and Waterloo, the Whitby proceeded to Georgetown. Another ship, the Hesperus, which left 16 days after the Whitby, arrived in Guyana around the same time (either the night of May 5 or early next morning). Let me reemphasize this: Indians first landed in the county of Berbice, not Demerara as is popularly believed. If a monument is to be built to honor the “geographic landing” of Indians, as Parliamentarian Ravi Dev so eloquently puts it, Berbice is the natural location for that is where Indian feet first touched land since they left their native Bharat. As expected, the gender balance of the original 396 immigrants was heavily biased towards males – 368, or 93%, were males; 11, or 3%, were females; 17, or 4%, were children (most likely under 10 years of age).

This distorted gender balance, dictated by the interest of planters in profits, characterized the entire indenture enterprise, although it was not as pronounced from the 1870s. When Indian immigration ended in 1917, about 238,960 Indians had crossed the kala-pani to slave on the Guianese sugar plantations and perchance to uplift their life chances and that of their progeny. All of them did not stay, though, for Bharat Mata pulled a good many of them back, especially so given the atrocious living and working conditions of the colony. Those who exercised this option numbered about 66,130 by the time Indian Immigration came to an end. This meant that 172,836 of those who came to the colony stayed on, assuming that those who died before their indenture was up had decided to stay (and had no option). By the second decade of the 20th century, Indians comprised about 44% of the colony’s population. When this fateful century ended, 162 years after immigration began, the Indian population moved along the entire trajectory of the demographic curve –from a sprinkling to numerical dominance to decline. At the end of the century, there were 380,000 Indians, comprising 48% of the total population, below its peak of 52% in the early 1970s.

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Indians were brought to the colony of British Guiana for one simple reason: experimentation demonstrated that they were the only people who could have withstood the rigors of plantation work and who could have provided an adequate, reliable and pliable labor supply. Was the venture a successful one? By the time of Emancipation in August 1838, the sugar industry stood on the verge of collapse. It was troubled by falling prices, a credit crunch, rising costs of production, a in series of commercial crisis in Britain during 1847-48, which constrained the supply of working capital, and the repeal of the Navigation Acts in 1849, which provided British colonies with a protected market for their produce, including sugar. None of these by themselves threatened the viability, and thus survivalability, of the sugar industry. That threat came from the dire (but contrived) shortage of labor.

Prosperity retuned to the sugar industry in 1854 and lasted until 1884, brought to an end by stiff competition from (i) rival, non-British colonies/ countries, such as Cuba, which, in addition to using slave labor, were geographically larger, more fertile and employed “infinitely more advanced technology� (Williams, 1993:151), and (ii) countries, such as Germany, which produced beet by employing more advanced science and technol- ogy in both field and factory. The competition of Cuban cane and German beet, in combination with the incredibly selfish policy of the British Government, pushed the West Indies to the brink of collapse in 1897. British Guiana economy was essentially a sugar enclave. Destruction of the industry would have been equivalent to destruction of the economy, which would have brought untold misery to Africans.

The conundrum was solved by Indian immigration. With such a durable solution in place, sugar barons began a process of consolidation and modernization of factories to improve efficiency and push down costs.

For Indians, educational merit no longer brought opportunities for higher studies abroad. Most of the successful Indian academics and professionals today made it on their own, without any assistance from the state. Aside from barriers to education, there was intense discrimination as regards employment (this author felt the pangs of this discrimination) as Indians were bypassed in preference to Africans.

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What, then, was the purpose of an education if one could not find a job – especially when less qualified persons from another ethnic group did not have difficulties finding a job? To young Indian minds, this was a silly question. The fact that literacy rates of Indians lagged those of Africans bears testimony to this aspect of discrimination. Besides the destruction of livelihoods and educational opportunities, Indians were also victims of the first attempt at ethnic cleansing (the Wismar Massacre), political witch-hunting, victimization, cultural degradation and a crime wave. From its birth in the 1950s (when it was used by the PNC to bring down the PPP), crime blossomed into choke-an-rob, which soon gave way to kick- down door crimes by gun-wielding African criminals, targeting Indians. To crown it all, it was the official policy to create “one people” (which led to efforts to douglarize the population) and thus destruction of culture and identity. A virulent ethnic crime wave, economic hardships, denial of opportunities and access to resources, inability to influence national decisions and the status of second-class citizens – these gave rise to the second great Indian Diaspora. The third period began with the second coming of the PPP and is still ongoing.

This period drove home a crucial lesson: the new intolerance of dictatorship brought on by the end of the Cold War, the ethnic composition of the population and the practice of ethnic politics would thwart the political ambition of Africans. Led by the PNC, resort was made to other means: large-scale violence directed at Indians and political instability. Violence, now completely homegrown and politically motivated, is the prime instrument used to catapult the PNC back to office (not power, which it already has). In response, foreign capital inflows dried up. The economy, now starved of investment, management and technology, slid into reverse gear, ending a remarkable period of growth. The PPP is determined to create itself in the likeness of the PNC – that is, to stay in office at all cost. The Stabroek News has even carried letters about the Jagdeo dictatorship (which the PPP deems the dictatorship of the proletariat).

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The strategy of the PPP is characterized by the following elements: (i) massive rhetoric in the finest tradition of communists; (ii) widespread corruption and incompetence; (iii) victimization, including murder, of Indians who dare to challenge the PPP; (iv) focus on youth only that the youths are mainly African youths (some letter writers in Stabroek News have even suggested this was just hot air); (vi) inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to defend Indians as a new and more virulent African crime wave threatens to decimate them; and (vii) appeasement of Africans in an attempt to buy their peace and votes. The result is that the PPP has scored good marks in accelerating the exodus of Indians to foreign climes. So Indians have been living in Guyana for more than 160 years. Have they arrived? By arrival, we understand, at the minimum, equality and justice, both of which have been denied: Indians live as second-class citizens at best; at worst, they are still seen as aliens (suggested by the very notion of “indentured” laborer). Their attempt to gain political power is seen as illegitimate for Africans deem themselves heirs to the British. Indians have suffered at the hands of Africans from the inception – from stereotyping, discrimination, victimization, and violence to denial of op- portunities. Today Indians stand at the edge of the precipice:

they are more threatened now than they have ever been since 1838. Aside from brutality to their persons and minds, Indians are on the verge of losing their identity. Fortunately, a concerted effort, thanks to Swami Aksharananda, is being made to revive Indian culture. National efforts by both PNC and the PPP to induce collective amnesia erasing memories of atrocities committed against Indians (for example, May 26, Guyana’s Independence day, was the day of the Wismar Massacre). The flag and almost all national symbols portray African culture and heritage and are devoid of anything Indian. While Africans have a National Holiday to commemorate their freedom, Indians have struggled for a holiday own without success. The cultural center in Georgetown, built with money from the Indian immigration fund, benefits mostly Africans. Its very location makes it inaccessible to most Indians, who live in the rural areas. The evidence thus suggests that the intensity of “Indian hating” bears a direct functional relationship to time. The severe decline of the Indian birth rate, rising death rates and a growing exodus will nullify the numerical dominance of Indians. When these are added to rising income inequalities, growing economic ruin and cultural degradation, we have a recipe for keeping Indians as second-class citizen. To ensure that they cannot arrive.

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08 Appendix

B. Cultural Probes for Different Groups

CULTURAL INTERFACES

CULTURAL INTERFACES

CULTURAL INTERFACES

QUESTIONNAIRE

QUESTIONNAIRE

QUESTIONNAIRE

TEAM

TEAM

TEAM

TASK

TASK

TASK

For The Elderly

For The Educator

Royal College of Art | Helen Hamlyn Centre Cultural Interfaces, Team 2: Irene, Matt, Abbie, Hanna, Natasha, Alice Contact: Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih yen-hsuan.shih@network.rca.ac.uk Tutor: chris.mcginley@network.rca.ac.uk

Action & Engagement By building bridges of understanding, Change the attitudes and behaviours between the older and younger Hindu generations and broader society, developing and protecting the Caribbean Hindu Society Culture for future generations.

Royal College of Art | Helen Hamlyn Centre Cultural Interfaces, Team 2: Irene, Matt, Abbie, Hanna, Natasha, Alice Contact: Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih yen-hsuan.shih@network.rca.ac.uk Tutor: chris.mcginley@network.rca.ac.uk

Action & Engagement By building bridges of understanding, Change the attitudes and behaviours between the older and younger Hindu generations and broader society, developing and protecting the Caribbean Hindu Society Culture for future generations.

Royal College of Art | Helen Hamlyn Centre Cultural Interfaces, Team 2: Irene, Matt, Abbie, Hanna, Natasha, Alice Contact: Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih yen-hsuan.shih@network.rca.ac.uk Tutor: chris.mcginley@network.rca.ac.uk

Action & Engagement By building bridges of understanding, Change the attitudes and behaviours between the older and younger Hindu generations and broader society, developing and protecting the Caribbean Hindu Society Culture for future generations.

For The Youth

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Design team (Irene) Yen-Hsuan Shih - Service Design yen-hsuan.shih@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7925 842909 (Matt) Myoung-hwan Han - Service Design myoung-hwan.han@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7447 242274 Hanna Lee- Information Experience Design hanna.lee@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7557 261002 Abbie Vickress - Visual Communication abbie.vickress@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7891 588154 Natasha Trotman - Information Experience Design natasha.trotman@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7925 999748 Alice Czarnowska - Information Experience Design alice.czarnowska@network.rca.ac.uk +44 7867 253765

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Profile for Irene Shih

Show and Tell Companion  

How might we create new communication between the elderly and the youth through exploring the music heritage of India? The project of "Show...

Show and Tell Companion  

How might we create new communication between the elderly and the youth through exploring the music heritage of India? The project of "Show...

Profile for ireneshih
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